Should we keep supporting our neighbor in love only when she decides she needs it?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My longtime neighbor is agnostic and doesn’t want much to do with my family or me because we go to church. But we try to be good neighbors to her, and when tragedy strikes her, we are the first ones she calls. I don’t quite know what to make of it. Should we keep doing what we’re doing and respond to her in love only when she decides she needs it? Is she impossible to reach? – C.N.
A: Many Christians give up trying to win their neighbors, their business associates, or their school friends to Jesus Christ because they think they are totally uninterested. We don’t stop to consider that perhaps neighbors are watching our lives carefully to determine whether we back up our testimony by how we live. Some of us have already made up our minds that God has no intention of reaching a particular person that we are praying for, convincing ourselves that their hearts are too hard. Satan plants these thoughts so that we might stop praying.
Christians are commanded to love our neighbors, and the first step in doing this is to show a watching world that Christ reigns within us.
John Newton, who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” was a slave trader. Who would have ever believed that he would one day become one of the greatest hymn writers of all time! Even Paul the apostle was Saul the persecutor. Many times God takes impossible people and transforms them by His own grace and mercy to become mighty servants of God. Don’t give up on anyone. There is no one beyond the grace of God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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